Boston Police Department Bolsters New Years Eve Patrols

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Despite all Boston's New Years Eve events being canceled this year, the Boston police department will have additional police coverage throughout the city on Thursday night.

At a press conference Wednesday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said there will not be any of the usual firework displays, parades or outdoor festivities on December 31st due to COVID-19.

"I know people are happy it's New Years Eve, and thank god 2020 is behind us. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we're excited 2020 is coming to a close," Walsh said. "I want to be clear, and I want to ask people to not have New Years Eve parties this year, in order not to spread the virus, That includes small gatherings."

Mayor Walsh advised all residents to celebrate the new year with the people in their immediate household, and he urged anyone who is considering going to a gathering for New Years Eve to reconsider their plans.

"A major source of virus transmissions continues to be from small gatherings," Walsh said. "You may think if you're in a small gathering, it's a bubble. But it's not as small as you think. It's a lot bigger than you think. When you're with people you don't live with, you're hanging out with everyone they've been with as well, and everyone they've come in contact with."

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said while many people are planning to celebrate this new year virtually, anyone who is planning to get together with other people should continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, like wearing masks and keeping socially distant.

"Please, no unruly parties," Commissioner Gross said. "We want everyone to have a safe and festive new year, but keeping in mind COVID-19, and what a dangerous pandemic it is."

Commissioner Gross said all 11 Boston police districts will be fully staffed for New Years Eve, and he urged people to avoid getting intoxicated and driving. Gross said he will also be bolstering the number of officers on patrol on Thursday night.

"I am hiring additional coverage, because we anticipate there could be loud parties or unruly parties, and we don't want any of that. We want everyone to celebrate responsibly," Gross said. "So folks, we will be out there."

In the wake of a suicide bombing in Nashville, Tenn. on Christmas Day, Gross added that the Boston police department has not identified any credible threats to the city this New Years Eve.

Mayor Walsh said the extra police patrols are not to crack down on COVID-19 violations. He said the city usually bolsters its patrols on New Years Eve in order to keep residents safe.

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Getty Images)

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